Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, What Does It Actually Do?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised room or tube. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.
Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.
Your body's tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat several medical conditions:
- Brain abscess
- Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
- Severe Anaemia and Burn
- Decompression Sickness
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Crushing Injury
- Sudden hearing loss
- Gas Gangrene
- Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
- Non-healing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
- Radiation injury
- Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
- Vision loss, sudden and painless